Azerbaijan, Baku, 18 February / Trend / On 17 February, the Prime Minister of Kosovo Hashim Tachi convened the Kosovo Parliament to a special meeting which proclaimed the independence of Kosovo from Serbia. According to a range of experts, up to 20 EU countries are ready to recognize Kosovo's independence. The United States and the largest European countries - the UK, France, Germany and Italy - may recognize Kosovo's independence as soon as 18 February. However, at least six EU countries - Cyprus, Greece, Slovakia, Spain, Bulgaria and Romania - will obviously be in no hurry with the recognition. Serbia flatly opposes Kosovo's independence and still considers the region to be its province. What is the reaction of other countries to the declaration of Kosovo's independence?
Russia is not going to recognize Kosovo's self-proclaimed independence. Moreover, the Russian permanent representative to UN Vitaliy Churkin insists on an annulment of the decision of independence.
The French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner considers the independence of Kosovo to be a success of the international community and the European Union. According to Kouchner, this step will put an end to the stagnation.
The Vatican calls on Serbian and Kosovo politicians to be prudent and moderate and urges them to take measures against extremist reactions and sinking into war.
The Prime Minister of Slovakia Robert Fico is most consistently opposing Kosovo's sovereignty. According to Fico, Kosovo may become a dangerous precedent to be followed by separatists in other regions. Slovakia will not recognize Kosovo's independence.
The Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha congratulated Kosovo, extended his gratitude to the United States, UK and France, as well as NATO and all international organizations which supported the independence of Pristina.
Italy hopes for the restraint of Serbians and Kosovo residents which may prevent aggravation of the situation in the Balkans. The Italian Foreign Ministry took into account the proclamation of the one-sided independence.
Speaking on national television on 17 February, the Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that his country was ready to recognize the independence of Kosovo and to establish diplomatic relationships.
According to the Irish Foreign Minister Brian Cowen, Ireland is also ready to recognize Kosovo's independence.
The Defence Minister of Netherlands Eimert van Middelkoop believes his country will recognize the independence of Kosovo. He said that on Dutch radio on 16 February.
The Chair of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Luis Maria de Puig voiced his regret that the sides failed to come to a compromise on the Kosovo issue, though PACE has many times called to do that. The PACE Chair called on the sides to observe the obligations they undertook - preservation of peace and continuation of dialogue in any circumstances.
According to Georgian MPs and governmental figures, Georgia does not recognize Kosovo's independence. " Georgia will not recognize Kosovo's independence. No one in Tbilisi has ever spoken of Georgia's intensions to recognize the independence of Kosovo. I think everyone will perfectly understand Georgia's position on this issue," the Chair of the Georgian Parliamentary Committee for Foreign Relations Kote Gabashvili said.